What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your work or line of research

Born and raised in India, I am an early career researcher with a passion for cancer biology. After completing a PhD in molecular medicine from Ulm University, Germany, I returned to India to pursue a career in cancer research, where I have focused my efforts on developing novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for cancer, with a particular interest in prostate cancer. Currently, I am serving as Principal Investigator at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India. This project involves identifying and profiling urine miRNAs to develop an early diagnosis of prostate cancer. Prior to this, I served as the PI for a DST project at the same university. This project involved the evaluation of the Guggulsterone-mediated anticancer mechanisms in prostate cancer.  Driven by a desire to make a difference in the field of cancer research, I also co-founded a startup focused on early cancer diagnosis. Through this work, we are applying our knowledge and expertise to develop innovative tools and technologies to improve cancer diagnosis and ultimately save lives.

Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program?
I believe that preprints have the potential to revolutionize the way research is disseminated and accelerate scientific progress. However, I am aware that some researchers may be hesitant to publish their work in preprints due to concerns about data theft or negative impact on their career prospects. Through this program, I aim to learn effective ways of communicating the benefits of preprints to fellow researchers and addressing their concerns. As a researcher from a low-funding research country, I have faced challenges in publishing in paid open-access journals. The ASAPbio Fellows program presents a unique opportunity to learn more about preprints and how they can be utilized to promote my research career. Through this program, I hope to gain knowledge and skills that will allow me to improve the dissemination of my research and increase its impact. Ultimately, my larger objective is to advocate for the recognition of preprints as equivalent to published work by government bodies, which would help remove barriers to the wider adoption of preprints in the research community.

What are you excited about in science communication?
As a scientist, I have always been passionate about communicating scientific concepts to a broader audience, particularly to laypeople and school students. I believe that everyone should have access to scientific knowledge and that effective science communication is essential for building a more informed and engaged society.

I am particularly interested in using comics and infographics as a medium for science communication. These visual mediums can convey complex scientific concepts in a simple, accessible, and engaging way, making them an ideal tool for reaching a broad audience. To further this goal, I co-founded a non-profit organization called Genetics4U. Our mission is to promote scientific literacy and curiosity in genetics and biotechnology among school students and laypeople. We create educational comics and infographics that explain scientific concepts and discoveries in a fun and engaging way, making them accessible to everyone. I believe that effective science communication is crucial for the progress of science and society. I am excited to continue exploring new and innovative ways to communicate scientific concepts to the public, particularly to young people, who will be the next generation of scientists and decision-makers.

Ask me about…
In my free time, I enjoy exploring various hobbies and activities that allow me to relax and recharge. One of my favorite hobbies is reading spiritual books and practicing yoga, which helps me stay centered and mindful. I also enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes, which allows me to be creative and express myself through food. Additionally, I love writing poetry as a way to reflect on my emotions and experiences. Through these hobbies and activities, I am able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and nurture my personal growth and well-being.

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